Is There a Doman Wide Quality Score in Google AdWords?

Mar 29, 2007 • 8:10 am | comments (9) by twitter | Filed Under Google AdWords

A DigitalPoint member writes that he originally had managed an AdWords campaign across several domains and received a "Great" quality score for his keyword groups. However, ever since he has begun consolidating his AdWords campaigns on one domain, his quality score plummets. He writes:

We want to move everything to 1 domain name and build a large site around a premium domain name, but when I try sending all of the same ad groups/keywords to the same domain name, instead of the individual one like before our Quality Score plummets. Most keywords are then rated as OK and a decent amount are Poor. It takes a few days for this to happen though. Typically when I test with a new domain name we will have a “Great” Quality Score across the board for a day or two before it tanks and then traffic is basically gone. We literally receive about 1/100th of the traffic we were receiving before, yet the same ads, same keywords, same landing page etc. The only difference is we have everything going to the same domain name instead of individual domain names.

Clearly there is a domain name Quality Score that is affecting us. It seems when using individual domains names the success or failure of an individual ad group/keyword does not affect the others, but when it all goes to the same domain name it seems tied into each other.

It is assumed that his landing pages need more work, but he says that he has had the exact same landing pages on both domains. He speculates that a "new domain definatly resets the quality score."

It is possible that this is on the page level and that it may just be something that the user will need to wait for until the Quality Score updates (which is at least monthly):

I think it's at the page level. LP QS's are not updated that often (once a month, maybe more) so if your LP gets a poor QS you may be stuck with it until it's reevaluated. My hunch is that's why you see changes in the QS after campaigns have been live for few days.

Has anyone else seen this behavior? Forum discussion continues at DigitalPoint Forums.

Previous story: Google Adds "Maps" Navigation Link To Google UK


Natasha Robinson

03/29/2007 01:42 pm

Yes. At the advertiser level both the domain and overall account CTR is part of your qualirty score.

Natasha Robinson

03/29/2007 01:50 pm

I see the tin foil hats coming out over there, so let me clarify. ie: "If it did anyone could just set up a few crappy campaigns pointing at competing domains and impact the QS of that domain in a negative way?" This would never work since it is at the advertiser leverl within the advertisers account.

Natasha Robinson

03/29/2007 01:53 pm

... and pre coffee - I must add an additional "l" to a 1 word in each post - lol. Must get a spellchecker.

jeremy mayes

03/29/2007 02:20 pm

No tin foil hat Natasha, just posing a question based on the original assertion that there is a domain level quality score. No one said anything about a domain level level quality score tied to an account. It was positioned as, at least in my opinion, a domain level quality score independent of the account and my comment was based on that assumption.

Natasha Robinson

03/29/2007 02:56 pm

I understand Jeremey, as I actually saw how one could come to that conclusion based on how the original question was poised. I'm glad you clarified. I just have to use the phrase "tin foil hat" at least once a year - lol

jeremy mayes

03/29/2007 04:19 pm

hehe, tin foil reacts poorly to my scalp so I tend to use copper. It's a bit more work to forge the hat initially but it lasts for years and years and can be used in situations where tin foil just won't cut it:-)

Tech Mentat

03/29/2007 09:58 pm

I have witnessed this behavior before - switching domains (everything else the same) and seeing a drop in QS. It makes sense to me b/c you're essentially creating duplicate content (adwords now cares about uniqueness) on an url that has no history. Though, I have yet to be caught in a situation where the quality score doesn't jump back in place. Also, I think updates in your QS have less to do with time and more to do with traffic quantity. I have seen QS flip overnight - though, it's totally possible that this could have just been great timing.

No Name

03/30/2007 02:25 am

First things first. Natasha and her partner in crime Jessica are the best account reps I have ever had, wish I could get them again... Secondly, I have seen the display URL make huge differences in CPC,CTR as well as conversion. Everything else can be identical, but for some reason Google scores a domain higher based upon keyword factors within the name (i.e. major keywords in domain name, even use of call to action keywords like free or cheap or buy). Interestingly, a domain name change can also greatly influence conversion rates to amazingly large degrees. The two factors if they work in concert can be a beautiful thing.


04/08/2007 10:26 pm

Here's a full writeup on account level quality score:

blog comments powered by Disqus